My long-term goal has always been to become a Clinical Psychologist. After studying BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology at the University of Suffolk, it became clear that I had the qualification but lacked experience. My undergraduate supervisor recommended studying for a Masters as a way to continue my research and gain vital experience via a placement.
Studying at postgraduate level has offered me the flexibility to balance work alongside study. As a full-time student I have two days of teaching, which gives me the rest of the week to fulfil my placement and gain clinical experience by volunteering for the charity Mind and working in a mental health hospital. I have to manage my time effectively, but I feel as though I have gained more control over my learning and am able to witness first-hand how the theory I learn in the classroom is applied in real-world settings. It is this deeper level of understanding that has helped me to strengthen the clinical skills needed to achieve my ultimate career goals.
During my undergraduate degree, I would have told myself I was crazy to return to study so soon. But after graduating, I felt lost not having a project to work on. I’ve realised that I thrive on challenge and having a deadline to aim for. If you’re up for challenging yourself and you’re pursuing a career that will benefit from a Masters, then don’t hesitate. Get organised and expect assignments you have never done before. If you have the opportunity to do a placement, make the most of it – the practical experience is invaluable and will help with future job opportunities or further study.